Palace confirms Duterte’s participation in virtual Asean Summit
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will take part in the virtual meeting of world leaders in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on June 26, his spokesman said Thursday.
In a televised press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that he doesn’t know yet what Duterte would bring up during the 36th Asean Summit, but he confirmed the attendance of the President for the annual meeting.
“Hindi ko pa po alam pero kinukumpirma ko po na dadalo po dahil ito naman po ay online meeting ng Asean,” Roque said.
(I do not know what he will talk about but I am confirming that the President will attend because this is an online meeting of Asean.)
“Marami po actually ‘yung mga programa, hindi lang sa mga namumuno. Anyway, in due course po, medyo next week pa naman po ‘yan, siguro po pupwede natin isapubliko ‘yung mga agenda ng iba’t ibang Asean meetings,” he added.
(There are actually many programs in the summit, not just for leaders. Anyway, in due course, it’s still next week, maybe we can make the agenda of various ASEAN meetings public soon.)
This year’s Asean Summit was supposed to be held in Vietnam on June 27-28 but was canceled and will be switched to a virtual summit on June 26 as the region continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In mid-April, Asean leaders held a special virtual special summit on COVID-19 where Duterte urged the region to prepare for future outbreaks as he noted that COVID-19 would not be the last pandemic to hit the world.
He also stressed the need for Asean cooperation in terms of health and medical equipment, food security, and research efforts.
To date, there are over 122,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia tops the region in terms of infections with 41,431, followed by Singapore with 41,216.
The Philippines is at 3rd with 27,238 infections.
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